telegraph article Telegraph readers can now enjoy a glimpse at what the future holds for the country’s health care system as it faces a critical time for its delivery.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced on Wednesday that her department will take the next few months to review the future of the Bluefields Health Fund.
A Bluefield Health Fund is a private fund set up by the Commonwealth to cover the costs of patients in acute care units (ACUs) and long-term care hospitals (LTCs) in Australia.
Currently, the fund is managed by the Australian Medical Association and runs out of the Department of Health.
The new fund will help hospitals and ACUs with their chronic care needs, while allowing hospitals to negotiate higher reimbursement rates for acute care patients.
“We’re going to have to get to the bottom of what’s going on with our acute care hospitals,” Ms Roxon said.
Ms Roxon also said the Bluefield Fund was not funded by the Government.
“[It] is funded by a private group, it’s funded by private providers and it’s not funded from any Commonwealth money.”
The Bluefields Fund was set up in 2016 as a way to make more money available to health services in the short term.
Under the arrangement, hospitals and patients are expected to pay the same amount of money to ACUs and LTCs over a number of years to fund a range of services including primary care, mental health, family planning and trauma services.
Ms Roxons announcement comes just days after the Federal Government announced it would make a $4.2 billion commitment to the fund over the next four years.
As part of the new fund, the Government will provide $3.5 billion in funding to community health centres and $1.9 billion to new community health and trauma centres.
“This funding will help support our community health providers in providing services to patients in the community and to deliver the best care possible to the patients and families they serve,” Ms Rosons statement said.
“We will also be looking to support community health facilities that have been selected by the Bluefords Fund as an anchor community health centre for the benefit of our patients and communities.”
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